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Usableness
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             Usableness (outillage)

                          Humans have always discovered the useful and the usable. We have the useful (utilis), 
                          like the French "outil" and also the usable (usus), making something serve for something 
                          as a tool or utensil, the "usable" and "utensilio" in Spanish, the most adequate thing 
                          to use. But this need comes from prehistoric times, as even the most primitive animals 
                          have also found their own solutions.
The Oecophylla smaragdina is a species of ant that has developed a refined cooperative system of work. They 
climb trees and a group of them will coordinate to gather two leaves.
Oecophylla smaragdina
It is well-synchronised job of engineering, since at the same time, another group joins the two leaves together 
using silk extracted from a maggot. These maggots, which are used to produce the silk in order to sow the leaves 
together, are precisely the larvae of these same ants. They use their larvae as if they were tools.

We use tubes of silicon glue! 

This particular ant is also associated with a butterfly, more specifically with the caterpillar of Anthene emolus. 
This caterpillar expels pheromones, which give much pleasure to the ants and they climb on to the caterpillars' 
backs and live with them.

The caterpillar receives protection and the ant benefits from the pleasant nectar and so it becomes a drug addict 
and lets its colony down. 

Some authors refer to this as "mutualist" relationships or symbiosis.

The Bearded Vulture, Gypaetus barbatus is a carrion bird that lives in nests that it builds on mountain 
summits. It feeds on bone marrow by throwing the bones from a great height in order to break them, hence its name 
in Spanish, Quebrantahuesos (Bone Smasher)

British researchers published in the journal "Science" a scientific paper where they describe the behaviour of 
Tufted Capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella which use stones as tools to remove roots and break seeds; they 
even use branches to determine the depths of holes in trees or rocks. This behaviour has not been observed in 
other species.
 
Moreover, it has been discovered that the capuchins show a great ability to use different elements that they find 
even when they are in captivity.

The New Caledonian Crow, Corvus moneduloides, exhibits an extraordinary ability to make and use different 
elements that it finds. It can prepare a branch in order to introduce it into hollows in trees and catch worms.

As can be seen, life on Earth is not easy and many species use amazing strategies to survive.


        

© Jaime A. Maldonado
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